02 Mar 2018

Let’s say you’ve started your day off normally, and then as you’re looking over your system, you notice a fatal alarm has sounded. The first thing to do is stay calm, and then take a look at your system status screen. From there, you’ll discover which one of the fatal alarms has been set off and you can quickly diagnose the problem. In this context, “Fatal” simply means that the conditions present are potentially harmful to the pump system or piping, and thus no pumps will be allowed to run in auto while a fatal alarm is present.

Types of Fatal Alarms

There are several different fatal alarms that may go off for your TIGERFLOW system, and while we obviously hope none are ever set off, it sometimes happens. There are several different types of fatal alarms that may sound, and we’ll go into a bit more detail on each later. However, let’s start by simply listing them out:

  • Low System Pressure
  • High System Pressure
  • Low Suction Pressure
  • Sensor Failure Alarms
    • Suction Sensor Failure
    • System Sensor Failure

Low System Pressure

As you can guess from the name, this type of alarm signifies that for one reason or another, the discharge pressure is below an acceptable level. The potential causes for a Low System Pressure alarm includes:

  • Leak in the system
  • Broken pipe
  • One or more isolation valves in the wrong position
  • Flow has been diverted elsewhere
  • Pump or motor issue

High System Pressure

Now, just as the Low System Pressure alarm lets you know if there’s inadequate pressure, the High System Pressure alarm will be triggered if the discharge pressure is above an acceptable level. This can be dangerous for your system because the higher the pressure gets, the more likely you are to see pipes burst or joints to leak. This is when you next have to get in touch with a plumbing company like https://tdtplumbing.com to come and repair the pipe, which isn’t what anyone wants to result to. The potential causes for a High System Pressure alarm includes:

  • Speed control settings are not ideal – minimum pump speed could be too high on a variable speed system, or the pressure relief valve could be set incorrectly on a constant speed system
  • One or more isolation valves in the wrong position
  • Demand of water is low but the system is keeping the flow output the same as during busy hours

Low Suction Pressure

The last thing you want to do is to have your system running when there isn’t enough water entering the pump system for it to boost the pressure. This is serious and should be attended to quickly. The possible causes for a Low Suction Pressure alarm include:

  • City maintenance/demand surge in surrounding area
  • Isolation valve closed for repair and that has not been reopened

Sensor Failure Alarms

There are two main sensors that you may receive this alarm for – the suction pressure sensor and the system pressure sensor. This indicates that the system can’t monitor system output or the inlet suction pressure. For both a Suction Sensor Failure alarm and a System Sensor Failure alarm the potential causes could include:

  • Loose wires
  • Wiring mistake
  • Water contamination
  • Oxidation contamination

If the issue is not due to wiring, contact TIGERFLOW to replace a malfunctioning pressure sensor.

Remote Alarm Monitoring

To ensure that if you ever do have one of your fatal alarms go off you’ll know right away, TIGERFLOW has created a robust system that effectively communicates when your system is experiencing certain errors by notifying you via BACnet, Modbus, or dry contacts. This enables you to properly diagnose any system issues so that you can quickly solve them and get your system back up and running.

Alarm Settings

If the alarm settings are set to manual reset, they can also be set to AUTO reset, which will clear low suction or high system alarms when the conditions for the alarm are no longer true for the off-delay time period. However, setting these to AUTO-reset should not be a reason to ignore whatever condition may have triggered the alarm. Additionally, the set points for all previously mentioned alarms and their associated on-delays are field-adjustable. If the condition triggering the alarm is not deemed to be entirely detrimental to the nature of the system, the set points and delays can be changed to avoid what may be a nuisance alarm.

If your system has a fatal alarm go off, don’t panic. Make your way to the system status screen, determine which fatal alarm is present and then if you are unable to solve it or are simply unsure of the best solution, contact TIGERFLOW technical support by phone at (214) 337-8780 or by email us at support@tigerflow.com.